MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Virginia -- style="margin: 0in 0in 8pt;">Marine Corps Systems Command held a celebration culminating the observance of National Hispanic Heritage Month Oct. 15, in Stafford, Virginia. The event, called “Fiesta of Flavors,” was hosted by MCSC’s Marine Air Ground Task Force Command, Control and Communications, or MC3, and featured a food tasting, trivia competition and guest speaker, Donald Calero.
Calero, a native of Nicaragua and Marine Corps veteran, currently serves as a patrol officer for the Metropolitan Transit Police Department in Washington, D.C.
“Mr. Calero spent 10 years in the Marine Corps and has seen the full spectrum of the Corps, both on the operational side and headquarters side,” said Col. Brock McDaniel, program manager for MC3. “Upon leaving the Marine Corps, he did various jobs supporting the Department of Defense, and now he’s with Metro Transit Police. So, you notice a trend there. He continues to serve his country wherever he goes.”
During his remarks, Calero highlighted the heroism of Marine Corps Medal of Honor recipients. To date, 61 men of Hispanic heritage have been awarded the Medal of Honor, he said.
“But you don’t have to be a Medal of Honor recipient to be a hero,” Calero said. “Each of us has the opportunity to be a hero each and every day, through our daily actions and by holding ourselves to high standards of honor, integrity, courage, determination and steadfast commitment to each other.”
Calero said his parents instilled two valuable lessons in him throughout his life: “Never be a burden to society and never dishonor your family.” He issued his own challenge to Hispanic Americans today.
“Honor those Hispanics who came before you by living your life in a manner that leaves those with whom you come into contact proud to have met you, and those who will come after you proud to follow in your footsteps,” Calero said.
The celebration concluded with a tasting of traditional Hispanic cuisine prepared by several MC3 employees, and a trivia competition with questions based on Hispanic Heritage facts. National Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated annually from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 to recognize the cultures and achievements of Hispanic Americans with ancestors from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.
“MC3 was honored to host this year’s celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month,” McDaniel said. “This event reminded everyone of the sacrifices so many have made for us to enjoy the liberty we have today. It is also a testament to Marine Corps Systems Command’s commitment to appreciating the value every member of our team brings to the fight.”